Per Mertesacker says English teams have no excuses for failing to prepare in training as they’re free from the distraction of open sessions in front of supporters.
Unlike their counterparts on the continent Premier League sides are, for the most part, drilled on a daily basis in private, free from the prying eyes of the media and their own excitable fans.
While Arsenal does open its doors to members for a pre-season gathering it’s a far cry from what the BFG experienced back home in Germany when he was on the books with Hannover and Werder Bremen.
“In Germany, a fan has the possibility to interact with footballers at any time,” Mertesacker told homeland publication, Kicker [translated by Sport Witness].
“Before training, after training, in the car park after the showers.
“On the training ground [in England], there is absolute silence. No fans, no journalists, nothing can distract you. Here, you cannot complain that you cannot workout.
“They want you to give everything on the pitch for 90 minutes. That’s the only thing that counts.”
Asked if he had a preference, the BFG chose to sit on the fence. “Which is better or worse? I do not want to vote.”
Per also reflected on how he could now end his career in England having arrived on these shores with the idea of probably returning home at some point.
“When we came here, it was very much one thing at a time for us. We’d always said we’d definitely return to Germany, but that has now turned a bit. The idea of staying here already occupies our thoughts a lot.”